White Collar and Corporate Crime Pose for Explanations of Criminality

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What Kinds of Problems do White Collar and Corporate Crime Pose for Explanations of Criminality Until relatively recently, the concept of the criminal was that of a person who, somehow disadvantaged and disenfranchised from society, decided to ignore societal laws and concentrate on increasing his personal worth at the expense of society. The idea of the criminal as the outsider became an accepted part of criminological theory, so much so that almost all modern theories of criminology focus on some aspect of how the person is disenfranchised to explain why that person would engage in criminal behavior. However, for white collar criminals, these explanations are generally inapplicable. Most white collar criminals are, well, white, or, if minorities, otherwise linked to the dominant groups in society in a way that argues against disenfranchisement. In order to be able to commit the types of crimes that are considered white collar or corporate crimes, people have to be in a position of power and privilege that argues against them having an outsider status. Unfortunately, this robs the criminologist of ready explanations for white collar crime. Examining a few prominent components of major criminological theories, one sees how these components are not readily applied to the corporate criminal. One theory behind criminality is social control theory, which suggests that those in power create laws as a means of controlling those who lack power. Therefore, laws, which
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